Pisa

SeaStar Media

Construction began on the bell tower or campanile in Pisa in 1173, but continued for 200 more years in large part in attempts to correct the infamous lean, which began even before the first level was completed. The tower along with a baptistery, cathedral and cemetery, all designed in the Romanesque style, were built with riches collected from the prosperous port and military victories over Palermo in Sicily.

The Republic of Pisa’s decline began as the Arno River became silted up by the 15th century, effectively sealing off the town from the Mediterranean Sea and trade.  The city survived in large part to the curiosity of pilgrims visiting the leaning tower as thousands of them made their way east and west to the holy land. Fifty four shiploads of soil was even collected and brought back by Crusaders from Golgotha-the hill where Jesus was crucified, so noble Pisans could be buried in the same…

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